Gina Mei
May 20, 2015 2:14 pm

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s never a shortage of inspiring women to love and admire showcased here on Hello Giggles — and with good reason. Women are incredible every darn day. From a plethora of kickass commencement addresses to multiple interviews that have us overflowing with pride, it’s been an especially amazing week for some of our favorite ladies. There’s nothing quite like when a powerful woman uses her voice to empower others, and we remain forever grateful to the many women who do just that. So in honor of #WCW, here are just a few of this week’s most inspiring quotes from women we absolutely, completely, whole-heartedly adore.

Shonda Rhimes, at the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Global Women’s Rights Awards

I absolutely love being a woman. I mean, I love it. It never occurred to me not to love it . . . Living in the possession of a vagina is not a hindrance. It’s not a flaw, it is a gift. It makes you stronger. It makes you fight harder, go further, do better. It makes you badass. And as we say at my job, it makes you a gladiator . . . Lead the life you want to lead. Be whoever you want to be. Have the babies. Be the CEO. Lean out. Lean in — on your own terms. Just run this thing because I don’t want the girls wishing they could be men for a day. I don’t even want men wishing they could be women. I just want those words ‘[having] all of that,’ I want all of that to apply to all of us.”

Melissa McCarthy, on Ellen, explaining her response to a journalist criticizing her appearance

“He said, basically I’m only a good actress when I look attractive . . .  And just like kind of, how dare women not look beautiful, perfect, and attractive in a movie . . . I said, just know that every time you write stuff every young girl in this country reads that and they just get a little bit chipped away. I just think that we tear down women in this country for all these superficial reasons, and women are so great and strong. And I think he really heard that.”

Maya Rudolph, speaking at Tulane University’s graduation

“If I could give my 21-year-old self the advice I’m giving you today, it would be this: Say yes . . . Create your own destiny, hold onto your old friends, kiss your momma, admit what your dreams are, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t know what you’re gonna do tomorrow, but work hard and don’t be lazy — and put away your damn iPhone once in a while.”

Cate Blanchett, clarifying her answer to the Vanity Fair interview question about her sexuality

“For memory, the conversation ran ‘Have you had relationships with women?’ and I said ‘Yes, many times.’ If you meant, ‘Have I had sexual relationships with women?” the answer is NO. But that obviously didn’t make it to print. Not really. But in 2015 the point should be, WHO CARES?

Maggie Gyllenhaal, praising imperfect women (specifically, Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road) during her acceptance speech at the Gracies Awards

“If I were in that desert for 10 minutes, my eyes would be super bloodshot. There are the really hot girls whose eyes are not bloodshot, who are wearing bandages and looking really beautiful and lovely, but my heart went out to the imperfect one, the one who showed us herself, her humanity, that sense of being ourselves. It’s that expression of real humanity and that sense of being ourselves, even a little tiny bit of ourselves, that allows us to make a connection to other people.”

Taylor Swifttalking feminism in an interview with Maxim

“Honestly, I didn’t have an accurate definition of feminism when I was younger. I didn’t quite see all the ways that feminism is vital to growing up in the world we live in. I think that when I used to say, ‘Oh, feminism’s not really on my radar,’ it was because when I was just seen as a kid, I wasn’t as threatening. I didn’t see myself being held back until I was a woman. Or the double standards in headlines, the double standards in the way stories are told, the double standards in the way things are perceived. A man writing about his feelings from a vulnerable place is brave; a woman writing about her feelings from a vulnerable place is oversharing or whining. Misogyny is ingrained in people from the time they are born. So to me, feminism is probably the most important movement that you could embrace, because it’s just basically another word for equality.”

(Images via, via, via, via, via, via.)

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